VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Long before the pandemic struck, a Vancouver teenager had an idea to help other students keep track of their homework and assignments.
Pranav Karthik, who is now in Grade 9 at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary then sat down to work on an app called Trackr.
Little did he know how useful it would be when students are learning at a distance.
“Basically, it’s to help peers and classmates manage their assignments and not forget them and to make sure to submit them on time,” the soft-spoken 14-year-old explains.
He began working on the app a year ago and was made available on the App Store last fall. He has been updating it, to better cater to students remotely learning. He’s noticed more people relying on his app as schools around the world closed.
“Students just add their assignments, and the app automatically reminds them.”
Karthik is already an accomplished entrepreneur. He has created video tutorials for students interested in learning how to code using Swift, Apple’s programming language.
Last year, he took part in the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple’s largest annual event. Karthik was the youngest Canadian ever to attend. That’s when Apple CEO Tim Cook gave him a special shout out for his video tutorials.
“That was one of the best moments I ever had. It was super exciting. I can’t believe it actually happened. I’m honoured to be mentioned by him,” says Karthik.
Pranav, 13, is from Vancouver, Canada. He recently started creating online video tutorials to help younger learners understand the fundamentals of Swift. pic.twitter.com/Q1i73xIXgp
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 4, 2019
That mention has led to more work. Karthik has now released a new iOS app specifically for the non-profit Manavata, which works with impoverished families, mostly in India. His app helps users focus on healthy eating and leading healthy lifestyles.
Karthik has been fascinated with coding since he was six. His parents work in the tech world.
He says he’s mostly self-taught.
“I’ve been learning coding through online tutorials, from Youtube and blogs.”
So how a high school student have time to work on his creations?
“I basically work on this stuff when I have time, after school work and after school hours – in the evenings, after dinner. I have more time now that we aren’t expected to be physically in school,” he says. “I miss the school usual life but I’m kinda happy I have more time for my passion, which is coding.”
Not surprisingly, he’s working on something new.
“I’m working on another app which is going to use machine learning to classify bird species.”
Incidentally, he has submitted an entry for this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference Student Challenge. Winners will be announced on June 16.